The Photoreal Subbuteo Club

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Chapter 1

"In the beginning, the world was without table football, and void and darkness reigned.

Then William L. Keeling did create New Footy in 1929.

And the Spirit of William L. Keeling moved upon the surface of the table, and figures were formed upon curved bases.

And there was Table Football…

And Peter Adolph saw the New Footy, and saw that it was good: And Peter Adolph did invent Subbuteo.

And Peter Adolph said, Let there be a green cloth for which to play Subbuteo upon: and it was so.

And Peter Adolph said, Let Subbuteo bring forth the Flat figure, to curl upon the green cloth: and it was so. And Peter Adolph saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.

And there was evening and the morning.

Lo, in 1969, Peter Adolph sold the rights of Subbuteo to Waddingtons. Waddingtons, begat Hasbro, and in 2005, Hasbro did create flat photorealistic card-style figures.

A few years earlier, God did create Adam Lundy and Adam Kilgallon. Adam and Adam did play a game using the Photoreal figures. The game was without goals, and the evening and the morning saw both Adams crowned as the "Disputed Photoreal Subbuteo Champions of the World."

This is the story of the oft despised and downtrodden Photoreal Subbuteo figures.

When they were produced, according to Subbuteo guru, Peter Upton the figures received a lot of criticism from the table soccer community, most notably from existing players - moaning chiefly about playability. They fail to aid shooting and chipping, and cannot be used for long accurate glides, and lack the softer touch when reaching the ball. Comments have also been made about how cheap the product looks.

These comments were borne out when Table Football Monthly reviewed the figures. After a forlorn session, an exasperated Keith Littler explains: "The playing figures are total rubbish!... if you want to play it, particularly if you want to play against somebody, I'm afraid it is misery on a table - It's joyless!"

So, this is the story of the misunderstood underdog, loved by no-one and left in a box with the lid on for so long...too long!

The experiments...

The Friends of Old Subbuteo committed to trying the Photoreal Figures out, in practice, in friendly games in the Old Sods OldSubbuteo Club and the Rochford and Southend Casual Subbuteo Club, where they faired creditably, with a mix of inspired success and dismal failure.

They were also given a run-out in the more competitive TSPA circuit, where the 13th place out of 13 entries was not to be unexpected. However, even in this reputable company, the Photoreal figures were not without promise. It became clear that while the figure were challenging to play with, they have special gifts, and with love and care, they can uplift the soul!

The clips below show some of the unique moves they can make (some legal and others less so!)

The Corner
The 'Lean and Nod'
The Jump Shot
The Penalty Curl
The Double Team
The 4 Player Block
The Volley from the Corner
The Spin Pass
The Spin Pen
The Power Shot
The Long Curl
The Move
Trying some expansive play
More expansive play...
The swerve shot
8 out of 10 shots that expressed a preference ended up in the net!
To get a tight curl, the player has to head-butt the ground! πŸ˜„
A move on-the-fly foiled by the keeper! 😫
More on-the-fly action (with an 'illegal' picking up of a player), which means this goal will be disallowed! 😫
The 'Over The Shoulder' Shot

The Disputed Photoreal Subbuteo World Champion

Since Subbuteo released the Photoreal figures back in 2005, no doubt there have been countless games in the living rooms of the world. To our knowledge none of the results have ever been recorded, and no official event has ever been staged.

Therefore, it is unlikely that there is a Photoreal Subbuteo World Champion. To rectify this travesty, a trophy has been made, with the help of 'Jaguar Design and Print' who made a giant figure, which sits on a Subbuteo lamp base, and trophy base from 'Trophiesr4us'.

The legitimacy of this trophy in indisputable, and it will hopefully be a zenith for Subbuteo players everywhere!

The giant photoreal figure plays ok!
Ready for the next game!

Chronicles - April 2022

c2010: Adam 'Puffin' Lundy drew a game with Adam Kilgallon. Each with one hand on the trophy.

April 2022: Fingers beat Puffin, Adam K drew with Fingers. Fingers replaces Puffin with one hand on the trophy. Adam K keeps his hand on it...

April 2022: Fingers drew with Ute, Rocket, JohnClu48, Spudksi. These 4 'Old Sods' all have a finger on the trophy...

Check out the clips from these games (Video by Simon Bodily)

Numbers - June 2022

June 2022: Adam draws 1-1 with Ute, and gets a tenuous finger back on the trophy, courtesy of Ute's 'trophied finger' from his draw with Fingers back in April...

Puffin's 1-0 victory replacing Finger's hand on the trophy for a Puffin wing! πŸ˜„

Fingers owned by Ute, Rocket, Spudski, & JohnClu48 were prised off, as they were only there vicariously, through their draw with former disputed champion, Fingers!

Surely a showdown beckons between the 2 Adams, to become the Undisputed Old Sod, crowned the Disputed Photoreal Subbuteo World Champion!

After his 1-1 draw with Ute, Adam 'Puffin' Lundy gets a finger on the trophy!
Puffin 1 Fingers 0. Puffin now has a full wing on the trophy!
Check out the goals from the dayπŸ˜€ (Video compiled by Simon Bodily)
The value of having a firm, but flexible goalie!
Cheeky little lob from a corner! πŸ˜€
The montage...

The first regular trophy won by the Photoreals!

This was the monthly WASPA event run by Chasers Subbuteo Club (Chadwell Heath & South Essex, Romford Subbuteo)

After a creditable 1-1 draw with Gary Gladwell, with a last-minute curled shot, the chaps went from strength to strength to finish unbeaten, and astoundingly, top of the table! πŸ˜€

Here they are with their trophy!

2023 - Leviticus

At the February TSPA event, the Photoreal Subbuteo Club High Priest, Adam 'Puffin' Lundy, played once more with Steve 'Fingers' Moreton. This time Puffin lost his wing on the trophy as Fingers' fingers once again grasped it with relish!

April saw a newcomer to the Photoreal Subbuteo Club - Kyle 'Cobra Kai Kicks' Jamieson! Having never played with these figures before, he gamely agreed to a match with Fingers, after they had both got knocked out of the Chasers Spring Open.

During the game Kyle made some spectacular saves. both posts and the crossbar were also involved, and on occasion his keeper saved without any assistance!

For such a spirited first effort, Kyle deserved all the luck, and the game finished 0-0. This means he has a finger on the trophy, with a genuine bona fide legitimate claim to be the Disputed Photoreal Subbuteo World Champion! 😎

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